Witad Awards 2023: Vendor professional of the year (business development)—Marthe Nordby, MSCI

Marthe Nordby started her career on the trading floor of a brokerage firm, where she gained essential insights into the world of finance, the basics of buying and selling and what drove those decisions. But she didn’t feel particularly passionate about what she was doing. “I think if you’re not passionate about something, you’re never going to be fantastically good at it,” she says.

Today, Nordby finds herself in a position that combines the skills she picked up on the trading floor with a cause she’s passionate about: sustainability. Nordby is the regional head of UK and Ireland at data provider MSCI. She oversees and manages salespeople and consultants across MSCI’s four product lines of ESG and climate, analytics, indexes, and real assets. She assumed the newly created role last January and for nine years prior, she led UK ESG sales.

“You know, 10 years ago, we had to explain what ‘E,’ ‘S’ and ‘G’ actually stood for, and now this is really central to everything MSCI is doing and everything our clients are doing,” she says. “ESG and climate have become a very strategic must-have for everybody in the financial industry.”

What once were conversations with smaller parts of banks and asset managers has changed to conversations with CEOs, CIOs and chief risk officers. “We used to manage the ESG business as a little startup,” she says. Today, it’s the fastest growing business line for the company globally. “It’s something I’m proud to have been part of and I feel very privileged because I went into it purely out of interest and my own passion at a time where it just wasn’t very mainstream at all,” Nordby says. “Real changes in sustainability and transition toward a net-zero economy have to be led by the capital markets.” She sees a massive asset owner switching its investment strategy to align with that philosophy as the trigger for measurable change in a company’s real-world impact.

Still, challenges have presented themselves; over the last year, Nordby has worked to align her internal team to ensure the best possible service for clients. “I think a lot of that lies in culture and how you manage people, how you inspire people to commit to change, embrace change, and not be afraid of change,” she says.

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IMD & IRD Awards 2024: All the winners

Here are the 28 category winners of this year's Inside Market Data & Inside Reference Data Awards, announced on the evening of May 16 at a reception following this year's North American Financial Information Summit in New York.

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